A report with a difference. What do you think?
My view of the Stroke association 10k run I did on Oct 4th. Stick with me on this…
I originally took up running as a way to maintain weight whilst at uni. A diet of Spam fritters, Stella and various multi coloured shots needed offsetting. Then running became about losing weight, I’d become nearly 17 stone so that had to go one way or another. I was running for fun, entering races, happy to break 50mins, not to bothered if I didn’t. Eventually I was a Wigan Harriers and my pace increased. I’ve always been competitive and soon it was the classic runner v himself bouncing around every run. Complicated maths to work out my pace to the second for a PB. Gutted if I didn’t. In 2013 I smashed all my PBs and picked up the Endurance male athlete of the year. Incidentally Imogen was born the day I found out that I’d won the award.
I’d seen Andy K out running with his buggy and thought great, I can do that. As soon as Imogen could sit up alone safely, Mel got a cheap running buggy on eBay and I was off. I loved it. I could take part in my favourite pastime whilst looking after Imogen. Double bonus.
I regularly took advantage of living near Amberswood often stopping to look at ducks with her, waving at dogs etc. I took her to club to train and it was a great way to get her to fall asleep. Early 2015 I got brave and ran at St Helens Parkrun with her. I loved it. She loved clapping at marshals, waving at everyone and I could get a tempo run in on a hilly course. I loved every run and she got to play on the park afterwards.
Fast forward to Oct 4th. I’d seen the run and emailed about running it with her, the organisers were fine. Fab. It’s not an official race, times but just for personal interest. No prizes for winning.
I arrived and to be honest was a bit sad. Imogen is growing up very quickly and doesn’t use the Pram much anymore. The reason is entered and wanted to run with her was mainly as my buggy running days are coming to and end. She’s always dashing about and wants to do her own thing. She gets bored in the buggy quicker and it is almost a struggle to get her in at times.
So I lined up and off we went. As I ran around I was desperate to do well, as it could be the last chance I got to see how quick I can run with her, and set off at quick pace. I was weaving in and out of other runners but a thought dawned on me. This could be my last run with her in the buggy and I did something I rarely do, I eased up. I had the epiphany. Too often I run for PBs or at a hard pace that hurts. The only time I ran for fun was with Imogen. When she’s in the buggy out with me, I take in the world around me. I spot the ducks and quack at them with her as we pass. I’ve waved at cows, chased squirrels in Haigh Hall and sang songs with (at) her. I’ve stopped to chill out, play on swings, gone down slides, shown her the canal, woods and more. And every run with her I smile and acknowledge people around me. She barks at dogs and in park runs waves at people we pass (wether she’s goading them or not is another matter), but everyone I pass I say hi to. Everyone who passes me I say well done too. Something I never do in a race.
The Stroke association run was no different. I did the run and the last 300-400m at a quick pace, to finish on a high. After I’d crossed the line, just behind Imogen I got her out the buggy and was sat with her. She was smiling and eating / drinking and I thanked her. I just said, “Thanks!” Without her I wouldn’t have done some of the most fun runs I’ve ever been on. Hopefully she’ll take up running, to be fair she already has, but if not I’ve always got the memories of the many miles pushing her around. I may still have a few more runs pushing her, I hope so.
If you have a little un, get a buggy and run. I promise you won’t regret it…